Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Vinca major L.

Fully-hardy, prostrate, evergreen shrub with arching shoots and long, non-rooting trailing stems, lance-shaped leaves, to 9cm long, and blue-violet, salverform flowers, to 5cm across, from spring to autumn. To 45cm.  [RHSE, Hilliers’, Hortus]. 

Horticultural & Botanical History

A popular cottage garden plant, long naturalised in the southern half of Britain.  Described by John Parkinson in Paradisi in Sole Paradisus Terrestris (1629) as the Greater Perwinkle.  Parkinson distinguishes it from the Lesser Periwinkle: ‘This Greater Perwinkle is somewhat like the former [double form of  Vinca minor] , but greater, yet his branches creepe not in that manner, but stand more upright, or lesse creeping at the least: the leaves also hereof stand couples at the joints, but they are broader and larger by the halfe: the flowers are larger, consisting of five leaves that are blew, a little deeper than the former blew: this plant is farre tenderer to keep than the other, and therefore would stand warme, a well as in a moist shadowy place.’  Saint-Hilaire Tr. pl.124/1825.

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1850 and 1857 catalogues [T.998/1850].  Possibly obtained Macarthur from J. Abbott of Hobart from whom it was requested on 16th June 1846.  [MP A2933-2, p.159].


Vinca major Brot. = Vinca difformis Pourr., from the western Mediterranean, similar to Vinca major L. but less hardy.  [RHSD].

Published Jun 03, 2009 - 03:15 PM | Last updated Jul 14, 2010 - 12:27 PM

Illustrated are the glossy, lance-shaped leaves and five-petalled, salverform violet flowers.  Saint-Hilaire Tr. pl.124, 1825.

Vinca major L. | Saint-Hilaire Tr. pl.124/1825 | BHL

Family Apocynaceae
Region of origin

Western Mediterranean

Common Name

Greater periwinkle, Large periwinkle

Name in the Camden Park Record

Vinca major  

Confidence level high